Why kids have trouble following a routine or schedule

By Gretchen Vierstra, MA

Kids’ days are full of routines. But for many, following a routine or schedule is difficult. Sticking to a routine or schedule involves many skills — it’s harder than it seems.

There are lots of reasons kids don’t stick to daily routines and schedules. Often, it’s a once-in-a-while thing that’s not an issue. Kids get sidetracked, are preoccupied, or just don’t feel like doing it.

For some kids, though, not following routines is a regular problem. Trouble with organization, keeping track of time, and paying attention are a few reasons kids struggle with routines. These skills are part of a larger group of thinking skills known as

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    About the author

    About the author

    Gretchen Vierstra, MA is the managing editor at Understood and co-host of the 

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Ellen Braaten, PhD is the director of LEAP at Massachusetts General Hospital.